Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Committee Chair

James Murphy

Committee Member

Kris S. Berlin

Committee Member

Rosie P. Davis


Psychosocial adversities increase alcohol use and consequences in emerging adults. Black Americans experience more adversities compared to other demographics and this may increase risk for misuse of alcohol. Religiosity may serve as a predictor of alcohol misuse, but little is known about longitudinal associations between alcohol misuse and religiosity in Black emerging adults (EAs). Behavioral economics (BE) posits that alcohol use is determined by the availability and price of alcohol compared to the availability and price of other reinforcements. Moreover, the value of these competing rewards is influenced by the delay of the rewards. Associations between sharply devaluing delayed outcomes (i.e., delay reward discounting) and alcohol misuse is documented in the BE addiction literature. The objective of this thesis was to test the hypotheses that religiosity would a) serve as a longitudinal predictor of alcohol use and consequences among Black EAs and B) a longitudinal predictor of lower delayed reward discounting and greater engagement in substance-free activities (higher substance-free reinforcement) among Black EAs. The sample consisted of Black emerging adult at-risk drinkers (N = 265) aged 22-25 recruited in Memphis, TN who drank on average, 16.43 (SD = 13.37) drinks per week and experienced 10.52 (SD = 8.67) alcohol problems in the past month. Consistent with study hypotheses, there was a small negative association between non-organized religious activity and intrinsic religiosity with alcohol use at baseline. Intrinsic religiosity was also positively correlated with reward constraints, suggesting more internal religiosity predicts higher environmental reward constraints. Regression results indicated non-significant associations for religiosity as a predictor of alcohol use and problems, delay discounting and reward.


Data is provided by the student

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open Access